Before you 'fire' them, remember you 'hired' them!!
Don’t underestimate the maturity of your employees and don’t keep them in the dark
Unlike the past, we hear of employees being laid off more often these days. While it may not and should not be the first option, it’s almost always in the best interest of the organization.
We are all dependent on our clients and if we lose business it’s natural to ask the employees working on that particular project to leave. In a way, they also are responsible for the performance of that project and hence should be accountable. That said, it’s important that the organization deals with it correctly to help the employees handle it better. We should be conscious that removing them from their jobs would have a huge impact on them and their families A few things that companies could do better are:
Don’t keep employees in the dark. Rumours spread like wild fire and have unnecessary repercussions. Once the organization has the knowledge of the closure of a project, it’s important that they share the information with the team. We always underestimate them. However, I personally think if you treat the employees with maturity, they will always respond in the same way.
Look for opportunities internally
Before handing them the pink slip, look for roles internally. With some amount of training, they may be of great value. They will also be grateful to the organization and the sheer goodwill that the organization generates could be very helpful.
Hire an outplacement company
Today, there are companies that specialize in this activity. They will help the employee get a role with another organization. They also offer resume writing services, interview coaching and compensation advice as part of outplacement services. They help in reaching out to prospective employers and arranging for interviews.
Speak to competitors
You know your competitors best and you know who needs your employees the most. It’s very easy for the head of HR to pick up the phone and speak to another HR head and look for opportunities in that company.
Get a counsellor
Some employees may be affected a lot more than the others. A counsellor can help the employee face the situation better. These are hard times and some situations need to be handled sensitively.
Have a proper send off
Take extra care to give them a good farewell. They need to feel that the company cared for them but were forced to take that decision due to business needs. Who knows the organization may want to re-hire these employees in the future.
Here is an example of what employees go through when firms don’t communicate effectively: “There is a lot of instability in the organization as many accounts have been closed down. The bench policy is not very employee friendly. I noticed that my colleagues were told to put down their papers although some of them were brilliant performers. This made me believe that the management is not even considering the track record of the employees before telling them to leave. This ambiguity led to a lot of uncertainty and hence I decided to go ahead with my resignation.”
Since every employee is considered to be an asset to the organization, it is very important that such a situation is handled with care. The ones who are asked to leave definitely need help, but those remaining also need reassurance about their future.